Contrary to what translation software providers would have us believe, translation is not a mechanical process of translating a word from one language to another, but rather writing in the sense of an art form. It’s for this reason that there can be hugely diverse differences in translation services quality from one company to another. This is all very interesting to know, but as a client, surely the important information to get across is what is the best way to ensure you receive the best translation and localisation standards possible for your projects… Well, look no further; that information is here.
Translation Services and Source Material
We hire translators and multi lingual transcriptionists who are highly qualified, experienced and knowledgeable around their subject areas, but even the best translator can only work with what he or she is given. For example, if you want an English to Italian translation for your audio interviews and need a verbatim transcript of what is being said, your audio quality will need to be of a high enough standard for the listener to actually hear all of what is said. Similarly with document translation projects, if your Spanish document is provided within a Word document or PDF that is clear, concise and looks just right for your purposes, you will likely receive the translation that you desire. However, if you provide your document translation written in scruffy handwriting or emailed over from a poorly scanned hard copy, it’s likely that you will have unclear sections or misinterpretations in your completed translation.
Translation Services and Preparation
When it comes to translation services and transcription services alike, this one is all too often overlooked. There are three key areas to consider when it comes to preparation:
- Preparing your instructions
Prior to sending your document, audio or video for translation, it’s worthwhile spending time on writing out clear, concise instructions to the translation company for what you require from the work. Ensuring that you get everything down first time around will help to avoid a situation where numerous emails are pinged back and forth between you and your chosen company, which can lead to things being missed or â€˜lost in translation’, as it were.
- File transfers
So you’ve had that French video for three weeks and now need it back as urgent. You have a 48 hour deadline and only need to send it to your chosen translation service company. The only trouble is the file is 2GB and you hadn’t considered that currently your only copy is on YouTube, or will take 8 hours to upload via your .ftp. Making sure your translation audio or video is ready for quick, efficient transfer is of high importance.
- Pre-empting internal complications and timelines
Contacting your translation company ahead of time to arrange a translation project is a wonderful idea. They can be ready and waiting to take on your translation as soon as necessary, and you can be confident ahead of time that you have everything in place. So your Dutch audio for translation should be recorded tomorrow but doesn’t need to be back for a week, so you contact translation companies for a quote and to check availability. Your audio is estimated to be roughly two hours in length. Turns out though, the audio arrives three days late, and the Dutch translation is now due within 48 hours, and it’s actually five hours as opposed to two as originally expected. New information can change your translation quote, as well as a company’s ability to complete the work within your deadlines and to the levels and formats expected. Be sure to arrange, confirm and chase up your projects internally before and during the translation quote process to make sure the translation companies can provide what is expected.
Translation Services and Clear Instructions
When requesting a translation quote from a company, it’s important to state all of your requirements accurately not only in order to make sure there are no later amendments to the cost of your project, but because it will ensure you receive that English to German translation you needed, precisely in the form you had expected. Clear client instruction to translation companies should come with direction on:
- Turnaround time to ensure deadliness are met;
- Length of audio/video to confirm accurate file transfer to the company;
- Translation or transcription topic or subject area to ensure allocation to the most suitable linguist or transcriptionist.
- Writing style: verbatim, intelligent verbatim, edited, strict translation, etc;
- Format required for translation: .pdf, .docx, .txt, .rtf, .srt, .stl, .ssa, .xls, .ppt, etc;
- House styles to adhere to, for example required insertion of images, links, headers and footers, etc.
If you would like more information about any of our translation services or transcription services feel free to get in touch any time. We are always happy to help.